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Just a talk.

Posted on 241901.24 @ 13:23 by Ensign Amelia Diangelo & Rochelle Ivanova

Mission: Lacuna

Having been walking through the corridors of the ship for what seemed like ages after another shift had ended. The girl’s mind had been troubled with echoes of people’s voices that she had met before. Even though they sounded different, they were all telling her the same thing over and over again or was it just her own negativity doing all the talking?

It didn’t matter, Amelia was finally on her way to talk with one of the counselors after much resistance of her own. Turning around a corner she was only a few yards away from the place where her appointment was. It weighed on her, she pushed the comm panel next to the door and waited for a reply.

"Enter!" 'Ethel' called, rounding her desk. The last person to occupy it had left several plants behind and all of them in rough shape. Distracted. They had to have been distracted - and with good reason at that. The last person that had sat behind that desk, occupying that space, had been none other than Tristan Neyes. Between his brother, the legendary Landon Neyes, and sister-in-law, none other than the Commodore Ivanova herself, there was little doubt that the plants hadn't been given a fare shake at life.

Until then, that was.

It had taken hours of pruning and repotting and trimming and fertilizer and water - but life was evident again in the form of new buds forming on some of the branch ends. Wiping her hands together to rid them of any excess dirt or vegetative matter, the diminutive buckskin blonde slid back to her territory and stood before her chair in wait.

Stepping through the entry Amelia couldn’t help but notice the different kinds of plants, branches, leaves and pots scattered across the office, it made her doubt for a minute wondering if she had taken a wrong turn or got off on the wrong deck. Amelia started to retrace the steps she had taken in her mind as she had approached a plant and was touching its leaves, without even realizing it and was still thinking. This was the right place, Amelia was certain of it perhaps the counselor had gardening as a hobby?

Amelia found it certainly more interesting then her own hobby and could understand why someone would take up gardening. Its good for the mind and body… or someone had told her once but couldn’t remember who. It wasn’t until a few moments until she saw a woman from the corner of her eye and quickly took her fingers off the leaf she had been scanning with her fingertips and moved both hands behind her back and turned towards the woman with a slight apologetic expression. “Oh, sorry.., I-I’m here for my appointment?”

"No apology needed. Not even sure what the heck they are, really. Last guy left them and I didn't want them to die." The counselor shrugged and extended a hand for a shake, "Commander Ethel Baul, you can call me Ethel. I like to take a more informal approach to things." She grinned, "Please, have a seat."

"Thanks... I guess?" Amelia said while taking a seat, still distracted by the plants that were present in the room, "So...?" she started as she felt uneasy as she saw the woman's grin and wasn't sure where to start, she wasn't even sure if she was supposed to even be sitting in a chair, having drawn her expectations from movies she was expecting more of a leather recliner setup with a leather chair next to it rather then a chair in front of a desk.

"So... We start by me saying I know why you're here, but would like to know your take on things. You can tell me as much or as little as you'd like." The words were drippy, thick like karo-syrup, but the girl in front of 'Ethel' was young, inexperienced, and troubled. Some may have seen her as a perfect mark and tool, especially given who her adoptive father was, but to 'Ethel' such a girl was more of a liability than an asset. As it was, Commodore Ivanova wasn't likely to let the girl come within a 100 foot radius, much less get close enough to obtain needed information. Moot point. case dismissed. The routine from here on out would be business as usual if only to maintain that lofty air of 'counselor' that she needed to maintain.

It was amazing what one could learn just by asking the right questions and listening for the right answers. Even while surrounded by overzealous plants that would eventually be transplanted in the ship's elaborate arboretum.

Amelia let herself slide down as she got more comfortable in the chair, yet she was tense and wondered why she was here if Ethel already knew what Amelia had done. “My take on things…?” The young girl slowly responded as she aimlessly stared at the edge of the woman’s desk followed by a raised eyebrow. “You’re going to have to be a little bit more specific, I mean if you’re asking about right now, I’d say; it sucks, I don’t want to be here I’d rather be doing exercises to get my mind off all this shit that’s been happening lately, maybe!?” Her raised eyebrow had turned into a frown as she had shifted her gaze from the endless stare to Ethel’s face.

'Ethel', in return, blinked and leaned back into her own chair, "I was more interested in your side of the story or what drove you to do what you did with Lieutenant Sha'mer." Not that the relatively mild outburst wasn't interesting. The girl would rather be working out than sitting across from her. That was a given - most people would rather hang themselves by their short hairs than work with a counselor. That was a rather well established trope and one that 'Ethel' had readily expected. It made her life easy. After all, who watches the watchers?

For that particular part, Amelia still didn’t have a clear answer. The only thing she could say is that same unsatisfying answer she had been saying to the others ‘something drove her to do it’, it was one of the reasons why she was sitting in that seat right now. “There was that one thing about her though, that fierceness whenever she spoke I felt drawn to it,” The young woman said being deep in thought. “I just have no idea, what caused me to kiss that woman, it happened so fast, appeared so harmless… Before I know it she was storming off.”

"Right." The counselor nodded, taking notes quick and easy, "But do you regret the act?" The question begged answer more than any other right that exact moment.

“Instantly, I even tried to contact her a couple of times to ask what I’d done wrong before I even realized what I had done to the her.” Amelia replied starting to have that feeling in her lower stomach again, that feeling that makes you want to cry your frustrations out. “If you could undo it, wouldn’t you?” Amelia asked softly with a slight broken voice.

Again 'Ethel' took a moment to blink and consider things before ultimately replying, "Well, yes. Of course. But do you want to undo it because it was the wrong thing to do or do you want to undo it because you were reprimanded for doing it?" Age old question, often times lobbed at younger children in reference to whether or not they were truly sorry or only sorry because they were caught doing something they weren't supposed to. That instant feeling of remorse was common in adults facing the same situation as well - it gave 'Ethel' a bit of ground to stand on.

“I…” The ensign began only to close her mouth for a moment. “I regret it because I hurt a sentient being..,” Her eyes briefly moved down as she thought. “because it was selfish and wrong of me to do so, even if I can’t fully explain the why behind it.”

"My suggestion would be to ponder the why. I'm not going to make any claims as to what it may have been, but I do suggest you think on it. Perhaps meditate?" 'Ethel' was quick to gather up a PADD and begin to load it with meditation and introspection exercises made available by Starfleet's witchdoctor think tank. Some of them were ridiculous. Some of them were ridiculously interesting. In between her shifts she'd actually begun to try some of them - and they worked... In so far that they left her relaxed and feeling a bit more rejuvenated and less stressed. Always a good thing. "Try this. See if it helps, keep a dream journal, and come see me next week." Pushing her her glasses with one finger, she offered the PADD to the young spook with her other hand.

Taking the PADD from the woman’s hand and looked at the data on it, her eyebrow quirked up. “This is.., interesting but...” Amelia replied seeing and scrolling through the different exercises. “I’m really skeptical about this as interesting as some of the stuff looks like, just not really convinced it would help me sleep better… especially after the last nightmare I had.” Amelia remarked and sat the PADD down next to her.

"Write all of those nightmares down in that journal and do at least try the meditation exercises. Skeptics have found plenty of peace in them." The spirited little shrink nodded and smiled, "The next time we meet we'll go over everything you put in the journal."

"Actually, I'd rather talk about it now." Amelia said, figuring it be better to discuss about it now then later. "I really want to understand it."

A counselor should have patience. They should be poised and graceful with a gentle, if not ambivalent, manner. By nature she was none of those things. Life had been about taking what she wanted and racing to fight for survival - but this was a new life and a new cover with a new ending and she would need to fit the role the part called for. "The thing is, Miss DiAngelo, we need to build ground for the analyses of those dreams. Dreams are just that... Dreams. Granted, yours are troubling, but they genuinely bear no ground when it comes to waking life and reality. Hence why it's important that we document that you are having them, give you exercises to help train your mind to calm itself, and proceed from there. Should they persist," 'Ethel' shrugged, "We move on to seeing about the prescription of anti-anxiety medications and so forth."

Listening to the woman, Amelia couldn’t help but feel as if the counselor was trying to get rid of her. If that was so Ethel could have just said so, Amelia would have been more than happy to comply, then again she did come here to get help. “If you have already read up on my dreams then why do I need to go through more of them, seems to me like your actually more interested in torturing me than helping me,” Amelia disagreed with the method the counselor was going to use. “And I don’t want any damn drugs!”

"Your dreams? No, Ensign, I am trained to know what dreams mean. Dreams are manifestations of external and internal stressors on our lives." The counselor shrugged gently, "However, it would be beneficial for you to write them down so that we can go over them and perhaps see what information they lend to us about what it is that is stressing you and giving you this degree of anxiety." 'Ethel's' hands folded across the top of her desk and her head tilted gently to one side, "there's no need to shout, really. We have to follow protocol to make sure that you aren't a danger to yourself or other members of the crew here on the USS Vindicator. That is all."

Amelia pouted and crossed her arms while shaking her head slightly. “Anxiety my ass..., you know what, fine, no fine! I’ll do it, but don’t expect me to paint pretty little pictures either.” The young girl growled and looked away once more while making herself as small as possible. “Are we done now, you satisfied!?”

"Hardly, but I'm sure I will be as time goes by and progress is made." 'Ethel' offered a small smile. "You're free to go, though. I'll see you back in a couple weeks time."

The young girl got up and pulled her jacket down as she let out a grunt and turned her head towards Ethel, wanting to say something, perhaps a plea for help, maybe wanting to collapse and let it all out. Amelia however choose not to and uphold her stubborn and misplaced toughness as she just walked towards the door leaving the counselor behind.



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